Ranking Disney Deluxe Resorts: How to Choose the Best One

Guests have many lodging options at Walt Disney World from the economic value resorts to the coveted luxury of the deluxe resorts. Of the many Disney World hotel options, it can be difficult to determine the best choice in a deluxe resort.

There are several factors that are key in your decision making. Many are purely subjective, but one key element that can’t be argued is the value of location.

Other things, such as square footage and dining, was taken into consideration when determining How the ranking of Disney deluxe resorts would go. Here’s how to choose the best one.

10. Saratoga Springs

The least of the best deluxe resorts is Saratoga Springs. It’s not bad at all, it just didn’t have what it takes to climb the ranks here. Part of the problem is the location at Disney Springs. Not a bad location, but not a great one if you want to get to the parks in a hurry.

9. Old Key West

Old Key West is in the same area, but it is more secluded which may make it more desirable for guests who want to have a quieter time. This is the original Disney Vacation Club resort, so there is a bit more space here overall.

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8. Animal Kingdom Lodge

One of the best resorts in Disney World if not for the location. Animal Kingdom Lodge is not even close to its namesake park from an accessibility standpoint.

Animal Kingdom Lodge has no mode of complimentary transportation other than buses. On the plus side, you get unique views, excellent dining, and lots of interesting resort activities.

7. Boardwalk Inn

This stylish, turn of the century Atlantic boardwalk theme is so brilliantly Disney. The boardwalk itself is an attraction to other Disney World guests and provides nighttime entertainment.

It’s also walking distance from Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios.

6. Yacht/Beach Club

Where these two fall in the lineup is mostly a matter of taste when ranking Disney deluxe resorts. These connected hotels have fantastic shared amenities such as Stormalong Bay, which we think make it a little bit more desirable than the Boardwalk.

Plus, these hotels have a stunning view of the boardwalk, which is more enjoyable at night. Yacht Club is ideal for adults without kids, while Beach Club is the family version of Yacht Club.

5. Wilderness Lodge

This rustic yet luxurious tribute to America’s national parks is just close enough to the Magic Kingdom while remaining somewhat secluded and surrounded by nature. It’s the perfect compromise for a varied vacation experience.

4. The Riviera

The newest Disney Vacation Club resort, opened in 2019, is the elegant and beautiful Riviera.

It has Skyliner routes to Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios, as well as rooftop dining, a unique character breakfast, and plenty of modern European flare.

3. Contemporary

The Contemporary is the original Disney World resort hotel within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom. It has some of the largest rooms, and it is home to some of Walt Disney World’s most popular dining.

The good news about all of these resorts is that you can dine at their amazing restaurants, like the California Grill, without being a guest of the hotel.

2. Polynesian Village

The other original hotel that opened alongside the Magic Kingdom is the Polynesian Village. It’s further from the park, but only a short monorail ride away.

What makes this resort pop is the amazing Polynesian theme, unique dining experiences, and proximity to the most popular Disney World park.

1. Grand Floridian

The most opulent of all Disney deluxe resorts is the Grand Floridian. Top of the line dining experiences, monorail access to the Magic Kingdom, and multiple fairytale experiences contribute to the placement of the Grand Floridian at the top of the list.

Really, the top three are interchangeable to taste. However, they are the top three primarily because the monorail connects guests not just to the Magic Kingdom, but to Epcot as well. Transportation options are a big factor in ranking Disney deluxe resorts, and the monorail is the cream of the transportation crop.